For round 4 of the Fixx Supercross Cup we “let ourselves go” to the races, well to be more precise we left ourselves go to the car park of Punchestown race course. Does not sound like a great location but turned out to be a good course 100% rideable with a mixture of gravly sections grassy sections and a section through a very small wooded section that had a whoop whoop section (basically up and down up and down).
The racing benefited from the course as it was not as super technical as other courses so people could race more instead of plodding around on their own definitely suited the roadies and would have being a great introduction to anyone starting out.
The start is super important in cyclo cross and I was yet again on the last row so I was not expecting much. I was on the extreme left of the grid the first corner was a rough left hand turn with the inside bit of the corner being rough. When “GO” was shouted I got a perfect start straight into the pedals and I was gone, everyone drifted to the right as they wanted the cleanest line through the first corner but I kept to the left as I had clean air to race into I decided to hit the corner hard and hope I came through it ok, as people to my right eased a bit for the corner to turn left I kept sprinting and decided if I took it too fast I would just bounce off someone to slow down. To my shock on entering the corner I was in 6th position, I was actually stunned it felt wrong to be so far up, I lost a couple of positions more or less straight away in the first couple of corners but I began to settle in, the first few riders had pulled away I was aware that I was a bit of a blockage in that I was holding up a few guys but if they wanted to get past me they would have to fight for it. I was 9th after the first lap I had lactic coming out my ears but I was confident enough I could hold firm once the race settled down. On one of the corners after the start of the lap Tim O’Regan came past me, he then made a small mistake in the next corner and I got past him again, he then tried to go the long way around me on the next corner but I had the racing line coming out of it and a nudge of the elbow was enough to remind him I had it, he had a good nudge back to say he was determined to get past, it’s easy to see who has raced in Belgium when you are leaning on someone in a corner in a race situation!!
It would be good to see neutral pits introduced if possible at races, I have seen a few lads pack the B race as they don’t have spares, perhaps a few guys from the A race could leave their spares into a neutral section of the pit while the B race is underway and a few B riders could return the favour if they are watching the A race. Puncturing for a lad based in Dublin may not seem like a huge deal but for someone like myself who may have drove 2 hours to the race or more for the lads from Cork it really is a wasted day out.
Speaking of the lads from Cork they are looking at promoting a race in December. Riders were asked on the line of the A race if they would travel and less than 10 said they would, I find this disappointing, surely everyone wants the sport to grown and wants more racing? The season is really short at the moment and it would be great if we can expand it by getting new clubs involved especially in new parts of the country so I would encourage the lads in Finbarr’s to run the race and plead with everyone else to ride it if its run.